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'Just be careful' | Hotel owner urges caution as people flock to North Carolina mountains for snow

An innkeeper said the phones haven't stopped ringing as people hunker down for Saturday night.

BOONE, N.C. — Snowstorms expected in Boone on Sunday are not keeping travelers away. Instead, hotels and other lodging are reporting a busy weekend with a lot of out-of-town travelers.

“Phones have been ringing off the hook,” said Ann Alexander, who is an innkeeper at the Loville House Inn in Boone. “We’re also on Airbnb. Between the two, it’s been a little crazy.”

Alexander said she is fully booked through the weekend, and that a lot of her travelers are coming from the Charlotte area to enjoy the snow. While Boone already had a snowstorm this season, Alexander said this time around it’s busier.

RELATED: Piedmont region to see ice storm Sunday

“It’s the closest mountain to us so we came up from Atlanta because we want to try and snowboard,” said one traveler staying at the Loville House.

“Just be careful and drive safely because it is going to be icy out,” said Ole Christian Galaas-Olsen, whose family owns the inn. Galaas-Olsen said the inn is solar-powered, so it has the capability to keep running even if there’s a power outage. However, he is making sure he’s well-stocked on salt and sand.

DUKE ENERGY: winter storm could leave 750,000 customers without power

As travelers come to Boone to enjoy the ski resorts and restaurants, emergency workers are warning people to avoid driving. Because of COVID-19, crews are down, and response times may be affected.

“We are running about 75 or 80 percent staff,” said Travis Chrisawn with Watauga County’s branch of the North Carolina Department of Transportation. “It’s going to take us a little bit longer to get to the secondary roads but we will get there and we’ll continue with our snow removal operations until all roads have been cleared.”

Contact Indira Eskieva at ieskieva@wcnc.com and follow her on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram.

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